Hypercardigan. Not.

  Mom: How’s that math homework coming?
Calvin: I’ve almost started!

Bill Watterson,
“Calvin and Hobbes”

So hey… apparently November is over. When did that happen????

Oh. Yesterday, I guess.

And how did I do on my NaKniSweMo project?

Full. Of. Fail!

Did I work on it? Oh, yes, I worked on it - if by “work on” you mean “think about.” I thought about it quite a lot. In great detail.

Did I knit a stitch? Did I cast on? Hell, did I even sketch a line?

Not so much.

Granted, I was extremely busy, with mostly mission-critical stuff. (Stop that. I know you saw me spin a couple of Abby batts. So? Other than that it was all mission-critical.)

So. Too late to start, let alone finish. But not too late to evaluate and to present the evaluation.

To recap, then, the subject of my cogitations. Here’s our poor friend, exactly as I left it on the fateful day when I faced the music and abandoned the idea of trying to get it ready in time for Rhinebeck:

The Wreck of the Tsweaterus

How was it screwed up? Let me count the ways. Let us review the three problem areas.

1. The sleeve cap shaping.

Too much fullness under the arm. Doesn’t look so bad spread out, does it? But here’s a fairly realistic simulation (sorry it isn’t the real thing - I thought I had pictures of this, but I can’t find them, and my resident photographer is off campus at the moment, and… I learned today just how badly I suck at taking pictures of myself in the mirror) of how it looks if you wear it and if you don’t happen to be flapping your wings:

The Wreck of the Tsweaterus

See? not so flattering or comfortable.

This is an easy fix - though like all hindsight fixes it would have been a whole lot easier if I had paid any attention to that still small voice that nagged at me when I was actually doing the shaping. Spilt milk. Anyway, the answer is simply to adjust the increase ratio on the sleeve side.

Sleeve Angle

The shoulder is constructed from the ridge down, and the armscye is shaped with a series of increases on both sides of the “seam.” The ratio on the body side (A) is just fine. So to get the desired angle/bulk I just need to change the ratio on the sleeve side (B), using fewer increases and placing them farther apart.

It just means being a little more… realistic… with the measurements.

2. The neckline.

Yeah, I know. But it’s MY design, after all. Ahem.

The Wreck of the Tsweaterus

The pink line indicates the shaping of the existing neckline. The yellow line indicates that of the desired neckline.

This, again, is an easy fix. All I need to do is go back and plot it out based on the RIGHT SKETCH, instead of the WRONG ONE. Simple geometry. We have the technology. All it requires is me paying attention and remembering not to be a moron. ::headdesk::

3. The bands/facings.

This is the only part that’s going to be tricky and require some actual engineering strategy.

The Wreck of the Tsweaterus

No matter how you slice it, yank it, block it… this just pulls in too much.


The Wreck of the Tsweaterus

There are several possibilities here. I could go back to Plan A and add the bands and facings later instead of working them inline. (Pain in the ass.) I could flesh out the section with teeny-tiny short rows here and there. (Horribly complicated.) Or I could work that section at a slightly looser gauge. (Probable winner.) I did swatch it that way once, back in April or May, and I think it worked out well. I’ve made some changes to the plan since then, though, and besides that swatch was not big enough to tell me what I need to know, since this is a problem that manifests itself increasingly over longer stretches. So I will need to work a more representative swatch before I can make a real decision about this bit.

Finally, I need to take a long hard REALISTIC look at the amount of base yarn I have left and the amount I can retrieve by frogging the sleeve (while firmly refusing to think about how much yarn I could have salvaged if I had faced the music before cutting the steek) before making another irrevocable and potentially lethal decision - whether to try to knit Mark II out of what I have or to cover my ass by getting Jen to dye me a whole ‘nother whack o’ yarn that I know will be all one dye lot.

How soon am I actually going to DO all this?

Honestly, no idea. Not immediately. I have club tsocks to churn out - we are frankly in the home stretch of the great Catch-Up of 2008 (long-term side-effect of the great Yarn Drought of the same year), because we want to start 2009’s club on schedule. I have an ugly mob - sorry, I mean a strangely attractive but exceedingly fervid mob - scaling the barricades to breathe down my neck about Swan Lake. I have the final club tsock from 2007 (Roxie) to prepare and release. I have… tsundry other tstuff… pretty high up on the urgent to-do list. So this isn’t coming to the fore right away, though I do hope to squeeze in some of that swatching soon, while the thinking is still pretty fresh in my mind.

Your guess may well be as good as mine.

Twisty Update

So, you liked my blocking solution for the Moebius? Well, I didn’t. I mean, the strategy was pretty much OK, but the more I thought about the implemenation the more I changed my mind. At any rate, it’s been through three more blocking phases since you last saw it.

Bedtime, last night: I went to check on it and it suddenly struck me that the blocking tiles that were in the middle of the sandwich are rubber. So I removed them and found, sure enough, that the bottom layer was still a whole lot wetter than I wanted it to be. I replaced the tiles with a towel. Un-pin, remove, replace, re-pin.

Middle of the night: I kid you not - my middle of the night doesn’t occur when most people’s does, but whenever it was I woke up in it, because it suddenly occurred to me that… well… what the hell purpose was the towel serving except to delay drying that much more? So up I got, unpinned the top layer again, removed the towel, and re-pinned without it. (NB I did actually have a reason for putting something between the layers: I was trying to prevent sharp creases at the foldy ends. But that was more simply accomplished by just leaving a little slack in those spots.) Also positioned the ironing board more advantageously. And then padded back to bed to sleep the sleep of the righteous.

First thing in the morning: Again, see above re my morning not happening when everyone else’s does. But when it did happen I made a beeline for the Moebius and found it dry and nicely blocked. So I unpinned it, sprayed the unblocked section with water, and pinned that out with the rest of the piece draped underneath.

Final Blocking Phase

If I’d been blocking it for someone else I probably would have gotten it more thoroughly wet, but for my immediate purposes this was more than good enough. I wanted to WEAR it! and it’s only going to get scrunched up anyway, after all.

(Incidentally, if you don’t want to make your hair hurt again… do NOT try to think about what happens if you try to fold a Moebius scarf in half along the cast-on line. Seriously. Don’t.)

So it dried pretty quickly, and I have been wearing it, and I am loving it. Alas, I can’t show you pictures of it on (please see way far above re pictures of self, taking in mirror, me sucking at), but I’ll remedy that as soon as opportunity arises. Meanwhile, here it is, glamming it up on the carpet:

Finished Moebius

And here it is ready for its closeup:

Finished Moebius

I am loving it. I am so, so, so loving it.

But I can’t say I’ve got the Moebius bug entirely out of my system yet. In fact… I’m plotting at least two more experiments of this kind, one of them so diabolical, so sick and perverted, that… well, let’s just say it goes far, far beyond “twisted.” More on that if I ever manage to bring it to fruition.

Meanwhile… now that the shetland/alpaca is finished… I’m spinning this:

Icelandic Singles

That’s the beautiful icelandic lamb / silk / cria blend that Cassie gave me at Rhinebeck. A gift with a purpose: I had told her I was struggling to get the hang of spinning icelandic, and she was determined to get me over the hump and make me love it as she does. Well, score one for Cassie, because this stuff… is da bomb. It did take a little doing to get acclimated - to get a real feel for how beautifully lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong this fiber is - but I am now one with the icelandic. (Why yes, I did just order another nice little whack of icelandic/alpaca blend. Why do you ask?) I am loving this so much that I am tempted to finish it as fine singles. Only… I have a two-ply sample that I made when I first got it home, and that is so lovely that I don’t think I can bear not to ply the rest.

Luckily, I don’t have to commit yet.

For now… I can just keep spinning.

11 Responses to “Hypercardigan. Not.”

  1. Mardi Says:

    So much action, so much production! And you got me to go look up “cria.” Now I’d better go spin. So I can try the TP tube solution this week sometime.

  2. Cathy-Cate Says:

    What a pretty porcupine!

    And it’s YOURS, ALL YOURS! In every single sense of the word YOURS!


    P.S. Going to a hotel bathroom seemed to work wonders for my self-photography technique…expensive and inconvenient solution, however, admittedly.

  3. DK Fillmer Says:

    I think this sweater is going to be just awesome! I can’t wait to see it in final form!

  4. Melissa Says:

    Simply lovely!

  5. gwynivar Says:

    hm and let me guess. socks a la mobius?

  6. Marina Stern Says:

    “Remembering not to be a moron”? Puh-leeez. With the amount of engineering know-how you put into designing a *sock,* f’r Heaven’s sake…

    If your formidable talents weren’t tied up with knitting and spinning, you’d be inventing a death ray. Believe me, the universe is grateful that you’re knitting and spinning.

    Inventing a whole new genre of sweater can probably wait until after the holidays.

  7. Marina Stern Says:

    BTW– the scarf came out *gorgeous.* Utterly gorgeous.

  8. Caroline M Says:

    Don’t you hate it when you ignore the naggings of your inner knitter and then she turns out to be right? If it were me I’d be popping the tsweater in a grocery bag for an extended time out in the bottom of the wardrobe which is strangely enough where my own sweater is now. I have sleeve issues of my own.

    I keep trying to talk myself into spinning singles but I don’t like knitting with them so it’s a lost cause. The porcupine looks lovely now it’s off the niddles, do you feel the proud momma with it being your own yarn?

  9. alwen Says:

    I think you rank with Agatha Clay, Girl Genius, in a knitterly sort of way.

    Beautiful moebius. Did you ever do that thing with a paper one where you cut it in half with the scissors? Oh. Man. What if you knitted one on a crochet chain center and then unzipped the crochet chain? (insert mad-scientist knitter laughter here)

  10. Astrid Bear Says:

    Wow, is that Moebius lovely! And brilliant use of the ironing board to let the rest of it hang down when you blocked the twisted section.

  11. RobinH Says:

    I’m trying to picture any kind of Moebius experiment that *isn’t* twisted…and find that it kind of sucks all the Moebiosity right out of it. :)

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